When is it Okay to Spoil Yourself?

Two weeks ago I wrote a huge check to pay off the rest of a private student loan. It’s not the first student loan I’ve paid off in the last two years since graduating from college, but it is the largest. I’ve had a lot of help from my family, but the bulk of the success has come from me saving like crazy on top of sending in payments three times the amount of my monthly minimum. Over the few last months I’ve given up little non-necessities that other people take for granted. In February I did a frugal, fit month where I actively worked out and saved like crazy. In that month I only spent a budgeted amount on needs (i.e. groceries, gas, etc.) and saved everything else. I also had a one-month membership that I bought in January to Pure Barre. Thanks to birthday gift cards and my Pure Barre membership I was still able to have a productive February, which would have been the case even without the gift cards.

At the end of February, even though I didn’t manage to lose any weight, I felt great and I was able to spend nearly my entire month’s earnings toward my loan. It was such a great feeling and having the entire loan paid off only a month later feels just as great. In hindsight, part of me wishes that I would have waited another month due to the financial security I gave up these past few weeks paying off my loan in bulk like I did. Now that I’m about to get a little of that security back with my next paycheck, however, I’m very interested in spending just a little bit of that money on a luxury or two.

My relationship with work these next few weeks is going to be a bit of an interesting one. I have exactly a month and a half left to go and with the end of my private student loan I don’t actually need to work anymore. I’m not working, because I necessarily want to keep working, but there are things that I’d like to buy before my trip and working is a way to keep myself busy for the next few weeks. Even though my last day is in mid-May, I’ll still have exactly three weeks of freedom before I leave for the Peace Corps. In the meantime, I only work three consecutive days a week so it’s kind of like I’m on this weird half break with work anyway. Lots of time to spoil myself with rest and to prepare myself for Peace Corps.

But before I go totally off track, I started this post asking a question and in the general scheme of things the answer is going to depend on a range of things. For me I have to take all of the recent facts into consideration:

Recent Financial Facts 

  • Just paid off second largest student loan
  • Financially stable (no impending bills, money in savings)
  • Employed
  • Practice general frugality

All in all, I’d say that those are pretty sound reasons to justify a one time spurge. So when I’m sitting in a nail salon next week or heading to a music store to buy those guitar accessories I’ve been eyeballing since Christmas, I won’t feel too hung up about the purchases.